There are many different brands of birth control pills, but there are essentially two types of oral contraception: progestin-only pills and combination pills (which use both estrogen and progestin). Depending on your medical makeup and needs, your doctor will recommend one or the other. The basic function of the pill is to trick your body into thinking that you're pregnant. As you know, when a woman is pregnant, the body sends out signals (that is, progestin) to tell the reproductive system not to allow more pregnancy to occur. That's why women don't become pregnant with a brand new baby when they already have a 6-month-old fetus cooking.

Most pills are in the $20-per-month range. You have to take the pill the same time every day, so it's important to get in the habit of always taking a pill at the same time every month. The only time that you shouldn't take the pill is when you're scheduled to menstruate, but many pill kits have harmless sugar pills for you to take on those days so that you don't break the habit. Some brands of birth control pills help clear up your skin, but others cause mild weight gain. That's the price of messing with your hormones.

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